13 06 vein surgery therapy laser removal legs picturesOne woman shares how vein therapy boosted her confidence just in time for summer.

NAME: Norlande

PROCEDURE: Nd:YAG Laser treatment

PERFORMED BY: Dr. Sonya Cook

13 06 vein surgery therapy laser removal legs pictures 2

Elevate: What made you seek out treatment?

NORLANDE: There was a big spider vein across my thigh and it looked awful.  I would always see people staring at my leg at the beach, pool and whenever I wore shorts.  I decided I was finished going through that, so I spoke to the dermatologist who treated my acne and she recommended I see Dr. Cook.

Elevate: What was your initial impression of Dr. Cook?

NORLANDE: After meeting with her and showing her the areas of concern, she told me what my procedure options were and how much each would cost. She also explained that she had a special machine for my skin type—I am from the Caribbean—and I was very happy to hear it.

Elevate: What was the procedure like?

NORLANDE: The first procedure was tolerable. I was told what to expect, but it wasn’t the walk in the park I was hoping. That said, the final two treatments weren’t bad. Possibly because I knew what to expect.

Elevate: What followup steps did you take after treatment?

NORLANDE: I was gentle with the area and didn’t scratch or pick at the skin.  I avoided baths and swimming in pools, didn’t shave, used tepid water and didn’t apply lotions or acne creams. A cold compress or icepack was nice when I needed a bit of comfort, as was an oral pain reliever.  I also made sure I wasn’t undertaking any strenuous activities like walking or running.

Elevate: How do you feel now?

NORLANDE: I feel great! The vein is barely visible now, and I can’t wait to show off my legs this summer. I’ve even started exercising hard, because I want to look great for summer.

Elevate: Would you recommend Dr. Cook to others?

NORLANDE: I already have, actually! Dr. Cook and her staff are very professional, they take the time to listen and observe, and answered all of my questions. They really care about their patients and don’t pressure you into making a decision.  Everything about the procedure, cost and expected results are laid out so you know what to expect, and they leave the rest to you. My experience was so good that I’m seriously considering getting my face done as soon as I can afford it.  

ASK THE DOCTOR

Dr. Sonya Cook MD, FRCPC, Compass Dermatology compassdermatology.ca

Elevate: What concerns did Norlande have during her consultation?

DR. COOK: She was very self-conscious about several dilated reticular veins of the upper legs, which were 2mm to 3mm in diameter. There was no evidence of underlying venous insufficiency. We discussed the various treatment options, including sclerotherapy and Nd:YAG laser treatment of the vessels. She was primarily concerned with the effectiveness of the treatment and avoidance of complications, such as pigmentary change.

Elevate: What procedure did you recommend and why?

DR. COOK: We recommended Nd:YAG Laser treatment as it tends to have a lower risk of hyperpigmentation in darker skin types than other treatments. Also, it has a needle-free approach, which the patient also favoured. Lastly, she had several areas with matting of tiny superficial vessels, which are optimally treated with laser.

Elevate:What’s involved in the procedure, and how long does it take to perform?

DR. COOK: The duration and number of sessions varies on the severity of the condition. Treatment sessions are typically 15 minutes in length. Most leg veins require three to five treatment sessions, spaced four to six weeks apart. The overlying skin is cooled to protect it and reduce discomfort. The individual veins are traced with pulses of the laser.

Elevate: What is the recovery period like and are there special at-home steps patients should take to maximize their results?

DR. COOK: Patients should expect mild swelling and redness after the procedure, which typically resolves in a few hours. There’s also a possibility that bruising may occur. Diligent sun protection is necessary for the first two weeks to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation, and compression stockings are recommended for two weeks as well to reduce swelling. Walking can aid in recovery, but exercise involving heavy lifting should be avoided for two weeks, as should hot baths and saunas.

Elevate: How long do results last?

DR. COOK: Results are typically persistent, but new dilated vessels will continue to accumulate.

Elevate: What is the average cost of the procedure?

DR. COOK: Fifteen-minute treatment sessions are $250. Three to five treatments per area are typically required for optimal results.